Photo of night sky full of stars.


The night skies of Montana can be so clear and mesmerizing that you just want to lay back and take it in. You don't have to be an astronomer to enjoy the quiet tranquility as you observe all the celestial objects like stars, constellations, planets, the moon, meteors, and the Milky Way. On the rare occasions you can even see an eclipse, meteor showers or the Northern Lights. Watch the weather forecast and choose a night with clear skies, a location with low light pollution and an open vantage point of the horizon free from trees, buildings and other tall obstacles, then kick back and embrace the beauty of the night.

Milky Way

Stars and planets are only the beginning of what you’ll find in the dark skies of Central Montana. The Milky Way season goes from late February to early October. During the clearest of nights, reach into the depths of our galaxy and immerse yourself in the swirling bands that make up our home galaxy. Only visible by 20% of the population from their backyard, seeing the Milky Way is one of those out-of-this-world experiences that only the darkest skies in the country can offer. Lucky for us, Montana is full of dark nights!

Northern Lights

When you travel as far North as Central Montana, rare phenomenon simply become nighttime adventures. Though not an everyday occurrence, with a lot of planning and a little luck, the magnificent green lights of the Aurora Borealis can be seen dancing across the night sky at many Central Montana locations. When planning your trip, look to visit Central Montana in the winter or early spring – when nights are darker and a new moon is on the horizon.

Central Montana Trail to the Stars Locations

Stargazers from near and far can take part in enjoying the dark skies throughout the Central Montana region. These areas have been designated for this activity due to access, low light pollution, and an open area for viewing.

Central Montana Stargazing Map

Stargazing Locations

Central Montana Beaver Creek County Park 1. Beaver Creek County Park Park office: 17863 Beaver Creek Rd
Havre, MT 59501
48.29464°, -109.66513°
Open: Year-round
Central Montana Bonanza Creek Country Guest Ranch 2. Bonanza Creek Country Guest Ranch 523 Bonanza Creek Rd
Martinsdale, MT 59053
46.47344°, -110.59550°
Open: June - November
(weather permitting)
Central Montana Cave Mountain 3. Cave Mountain 47.88962°, -112.72645°
Open: Summer
Central Montana Coal Banks Landing 4. Coal Banks Landing 5901 Virgelle Ferry Rd N
Loma, MT 59460
48.03228°, -110.23672°
Open: April - November
Central Montana Crystal Lake 5. Crystal Lake 46.80480°, -109.51099°
Open: June - October
Central Montana First Peoples Buffalo Jump 6. First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park 47.4797586°, -111.5247494°
Central Montana Forest Lake 7. Forest Lake 46.24499°, -110.43697°
Open: Summer
Central Montana Hay Canyon Campground 8. Hay Canyon Campground 46.79882°, -110.29989°
Open: Memorial Day - Labor Day
Central Montana Hole in the Wall Campground 9. Hole in the Wall Campground 47.82004°, -110.06463°
Open: April - November
Central Montana Island Area at Tiber Dam 10. Island Area at Tiber Dam 48.33546°, -111.13017°
Open: Year-round
Central Montana James Kipp Recreation Area 11. James Kipp Recreation Area 47.62297°, -108.68839°
Open: April - November
Central Montana JJJ Wilderness Ranch 12. JJJ Wilderness Ranch 91 Mortimer Rd
Augusta, MT 59410
47.62656°, -112.76934°
Open: Year-round
Central Montana Judith Landing 13. Judith Landing 47.74137°, -109.62513°
Open: May 15 - October 15
Central Montana Myers Family Huts 14. Myers Family Huts 47.72759°, -109.63320°
Open: May - November
Central Montana Slippery Ann Wildlife Viewing Area 15. Slippery Ann Wildlife Viewing Area 47.61636°, -108.57334°
Open: Spring - Fall
Central Montana Timber Creek Disperses Campground 16. Timber Creek Disperses Campground 46.72527°, -109.48589°
Open: Year-round
Central Montana Upper Missouri River Breaks 17. Upper Missouri River Breaks 47.81000°, -110.67382°
Open: Year-round
Central Montana Virgelle Mercantile, B & B and Cabins 18. Virgelle Mercantile, B&B and Cabins 7485 Virgelle Ferry Rd N
Virgelle, MT 59442
48.01476°, -110.24959°
Open: Year-round
Central Montana Wood Bottom 19. Wood Bottom Recreation Area 47.92179°, -110.49624°
Open: April - November

Stargazing / Astronomy Apps

Stargazing App Night Sky

Night Sky

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Stargazing App SkyView


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Stargazing App Star Walk 2

Star Walk 2

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2024 Astronomical Events


Jan. 3, 4: Quadrantids Meteor Shower
Jan. 11: New Moon
Jan. 12: Mercury at Greatest Western Elongation
Jan. 25: Full Moon


Feb. 9: New Moon
Feb. 24: Full Moon


March: Prime Milky Way Viewing Season Begins
March 10: New Moon
March 20: March Equinox
March 24: Mercury at Greatest Eastern Elongation
March 25: Full Moon
March 25: Penumbral Lunar Eclipse


April 8: New Moon
April 8: Total Solar Eclipse
April 22-23: Lyrids Meteor Shower
April 23: Full Moon


May 6, 7: Eta Aquarids Meteor Shower
May 8: New Moon
May 9: Mercury at Greatest Western Elongation
May 23: Full Moon


June 2: Pons-Brooks Comet closest to Earth
June 6: New Moon
June 20: June Solstice
June 22: Full Moon


July 5: New Moon
July 21: Full Moon
July 22: Mercury at Greatest Eastern Elongation
July 28, 29: Delta Aquarids Meteor Shower


Aug. 4: New Moon
Aug. 12, 13: Perseids Meteor Shower
Aug. 19: Full Moon, Blue Moon


Sept. 3: New Moon
Sept. 5: Mercury at Greatest Western Elongation
Sept. 8: Saturn at Opposition
Sept. 18: Full Moon, Supermoon
Sept. 18: Partial Lunar Eclipse
Sept. 20: Neptune at Opposition
Sept. 22: September Equinox
Sept.: Prime Milky Way Viewing Season Ends


Oct. 2: New Moon
Oct. 2: Annular Solar Eclipse
Oct. 7: Draconids Meteor Shower
Oct. 17: Full Moon, Supermoon
Oct. 21, 22: Orionids Meteor Shower


Nov. 1: New Moon
Nov. 4, 5: Taurids Meteor Shower
Nov. 15: Full Moon, Supermoon
Nov. 16: Mercury at Greatest Eastern Elongation
Nov. 17: Uranus at Opposition
Nov. 17, 18: Leonids Meteor Shower


Dec. 1: New Moon
Dec. 7: Jupiter at Opposition
Dec. 13, 14: Geminids Meteor Shower
Dec. 15: Full Moon
Dec. 21: December Solstice
Dec. 21, 22: Ursids Meteor Shower
Dec. 25: Mercury at Greatest Western Elongation
Dec. 30: New Moon

To learn more about stargazing in Central Montana or other parts of the state, visit Montana's Trail to the Stars.